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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle ref cursor tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonMay 5, 2015

The Oracle ref cursor is a "pointer" data types that allows you to quickly reference any cursor result (usually an internal PL/SQL table array) with data values kept in super-fast RAM.

For details, see the book "PL/SQL Tuning" with many Oracle ref cursor examples and ref cursor tips.

The name "ref cursor" can be confusing because a ref cursor variable is not a cursor, but a variable that points to a cursor, similar to a Char** datatype in the C language.   In essence, an Oracle ref cursor allows you to store the result of a "bulk collect" from a table (or any PL/SQL cursor return set) into a PL/SQL table (RAM array) and then reference the array with the Oracle ref cursor as a pointer.  Here is a simple example of using an Oracle ref cursor in PL/SQL.

Once you load a PL/SQL table, an Oracle ref cursor allows you to reference the array within your PL/SQL code without having to pass the array to a new procedure or function.  Instead of passing the "baggage" of the actual RAM array, you simply pass the Oracle ref cursor, which points to the PL/SQL table values.

PL/SQL ref cursor references:

If you like Oracle tuning, you might enjoy my book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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